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When in United States, sing National Anthem in English

The current debate over whether the National Anthem should besung in Spanish brings to mind the the old advice of “When in Rome,do as the Romans do.”

President Bush wants the song sung only in English. Supportersof “Nuestro Himno,” a Spanish version of the anthem, say it helpscitizens who have not yet learned English to better understand thesong’s character and ideals of freedom.

That may be so, but allowing the “Star-Spangled Banner” to besung in another language represents a line that simply does notneed to be crossed.

Pick up just about any product or go in nearly any restaurantand you will find instructions or menu items printed in foreignlanguages.

Some will see this as a concession to the other side in theEnglish-only debate. No, there are economic reasons for privatebusiness and industry in trying to reach as many customers aspossible – in whatever language they speak.

But the National Anthem is a matter of national unity.Where is the unity if the anthem is not being sung in onevoice?

The language of that voice should be English.

The National Anthem was written in English. Anyone who wants tobe a U.S. citizen should learn to sing it that way.

“When in Rome …”